Have you ever lost a customer like Lydia just did?

This is a continuation of the post here.

What is your focus: customers or recruiting? Two comments.

#1. What you’ve learned notwithstanding, they are most often NOT the same people.

1. Recruits: One in 100 people (ONE PERCENT) in the U.S. have any interest in doing sales. Sales defined as making money only if you sell something. (Versus a job.)

2. Customers: 100 in 100 people (100%) in the U.S. is a customer – someone who buys stuff.

It doesn’t matter how much potential income there is in a sales position. You can scream as loud as you want: ALL sales businesses have high potential income.

But it is just that: potential and not guaranteed. People know this. Do not underestimate your fellow human beings or expect to change them because you need sales reps.

#2. Do not confuse interest in a product with interest in selling it.

The minute someone expresses interest in being a customer, let them be a customer. Do not needle them with, “Oh, you could make really good money SELLING this, you know!”

That’s what Lydia did. Lost the customer because she realized it must be “one of those things.” Who else pushes a customer to sell what she just bought?

Pushing a customer prospect to sell is the best way to lose the customer I know of. Happens every day.

P.S. Although everyone’s a customer of things, they’re customers of different things. Don’t expect more than one in 10 to have an interest in your product. Interest is not a sale. Sigh.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • In my own personal opinion, everyone on the planet should be using my product. Unfortunately, it is just that, my opinion. As Max Planck, the famous physicist, said, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” Sad, but true. I will miss them but will be feverishly working to educate the new generation. And in the meantime, when my customers enroll as wholesale buyers I do not put their phone numbers or their email addresses into the company system. Why? Many of my customers are also customers of my other, full time, business and I do not want them inundated with marketing and new rep training emails. They are intelligent people who love the product, they can put 2 and 2 together, and if they are inspired, as I was, to market this product because they believe in it as I do, they will know who to contact. In 9 years of owning my other business I more than doubled sales and tripled the profits by delivering knock your socks of service and making my customers my friends. Service builds trust/friendship which builds loyalty which equals customer retention.

  • I never lost a customer like this, but I did gain a customer after he had said no to the business. How? By not putting pressure on him to work the business.

    He had expressed a desire to start his own business, and I talked to him about our business opportunity. It didn’t realy suit him because he wanted a more traditional business. A couple of weeks later we were talking about a product he was taking, but wasn’t completely satisfied with it. It just so happened my company had a similar product, so I asked him if he wanted to try it. He did and was very happy with the product and remained a loyal customer until the company discontinued the product. He has let me know that he’d be willing to try another product from my company, if they ever come out with something similar.

    I had a loyal customer, even after he had looked at the business, because I was willing to let him be just a customer.

    Joe Washburn

  • Kim- A Nu-Skin represenative lost
    me as a customer.They had an
    advertisement in the paper about
    a cream that vanishes lines and
    wrinkles on a persons face.I was
    going to purchase a test sample
    but when I called, the rep totally
    forgot about making me a customer
    and focused totally on telling me
    how much I could earn by being in
    the business.Needless to say, I
    said bye and he lost the sale!


  • This post brought to mind something that used to happen to me a lot when I was signing someone up. They would say to me “I just want to use this stuff; I don’t want to sell it.” Finally one day when this was said to me I asked the prospect why she said that. Her reply was that she used to be in another company that expected everyone who used the product to also sell it. I reassured this person that I didn’t expect her to do any selling. I was shocked that a company would do that. Was I naive or what? 🙂


  • I used an approach that worked quite well. I would tell the folks at the start of my presentation we were looking for people who might be interested in part-time income or a possible career change, perhaps themselves or maybe someone they know, but before we could even talk about that, we have to see if our service works for them. If it doesn’t work for them then it won’t make sense for them to refer me to anyone they know. Then I would close by asking, fair enough? Never heard a no to that question.

    Somewhere between 10-25% would be interested in seeing how the business worked, but 75% or so of our qualified appointments became clients and 90% or so gave referrals, regardless of whether the business aspect appealed to them.

    It was a soft easy approach that kept me and my new recruits in the good graces of our referrals (and their friends).

    Other times I would reverse it, but *never* a hard sell either way. In the end I would just ask if they knew someone who woud be interested. Sometimes they took a peronal interest, most of the time they did not. Either way, we often had a sale and referrals anyway.

    Today, I keep both totally separate but I have developed a mechanism by which I can gain recruiting referrals from customers *without* offending them or losing them, and selling referrals from current and former recruits as well. But it is still in the testing stage and I will speak more about once we have had it going full steam for a few months.


  • Hello Kim,
    You bring such thoughtful questions to think about.

    My focus is customer.
    I don’t know about every MLM business, but in mine customers are important and I get paid a high commission for evry one that buys.
    Kim you make a very clear and valid point.
    Know the difference betwwen focusing on wanting a customer or rep.

    Some times, but not to often a customer can turn into a rep.

    I like having two ways to build a business.

    My customers have helped me to be better at understanding and explaining my line of products.

    Their questions or objections helped me get better, not bitter and find fault, or look for excuse to blame someone else for not making a sale.

    I enjoy the inter action and find more personal growth and confidence in my self since looking and selling to my customer base.
    Showing customers the benefits of my product along with my special attention of being their consultant helps me grow my business.
    It’s been said that 92% of the population are sales resistant.
    I find by smiling, listening to what people want I can determine how to service them.

    Lynn Rothfuss

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